Using Mobile Methods to Trace Networks and Connections: Environmental Migration in the Digital Age

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This case reflects on the use of mobile methods in a study of environmental migration. Environmental migration refers to the movement of people in the context of environmental impacts and changes (e.g., storms, droughts, sea-level rise). I studied how this phenomenon takes shape in the digital age. In the digital age, people may be increasingly connected and have more means to exchange information, shaping migrants’ mobility decisions. I conducted this research in Bangladesh and Kenya. Mobile methods concentrate on movement, connections, and networks, and are therefore a good fit for my study focused on migration and digital connectivity. Instead of staying in one or few places during fieldwork, the idea is to follow the connections, to move along with them, and to understand how movement and networking play out in practice. In this case, I reflect on the benefits and the difficulties of using mobile methods by discussing how I used them during my field research in Bangladesh. I stress the benefits of adopting an inductive approach to such research and the need to always be reflexive toward the application of a particular method. In that way, it is possible to adjust to empirical realities and thereby more strongly fulfil the set research objectives.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
PublisherSage
ISBN (Electronic)9781526466730
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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migration
Bangladesh
information exchange
drought
field research
Kenya
networking
environmental impact
migrant

Cite this

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abstract = "This case reflects on the use of mobile methods in a study of environmental migration. Environmental migration refers to the movement of people in the context of environmental impacts and changes (e.g., storms, droughts, sea-level rise). I studied how this phenomenon takes shape in the digital age. In the digital age, people may be increasingly connected and have more means to exchange information, shaping migrants’ mobility decisions. I conducted this research in Bangladesh and Kenya. Mobile methods concentrate on movement, connections, and networks, and are therefore a good fit for my study focused on migration and digital connectivity. Instead of staying in one or few places during fieldwork, the idea is to follow the connections, to move along with them, and to understand how movement and networking play out in practice. In this case, I reflect on the benefits and the difficulties of using mobile methods by discussing how I used them during my field research in Bangladesh. I stress the benefits of adopting an inductive approach to such research and the need to always be reflexive toward the application of a particular method. In that way, it is possible to adjust to empirical realities and thereby more strongly fulfil the set research objectives.",
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Using Mobile Methods to Trace Networks and Connections: Environmental Migration in the Digital Age. / Boas, I.J.C.

SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2. Sage, 2019.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

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